M4 close focussing problem
Old 11-16-2016   #1
daveywaugh
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M4 close focussing problem

I received a lovely M4 today - great condition. It was a birthday present from my wife and now we have matching Leicas and 35mm Biogon-Cs.... yes all very quaint :smile:

Anyway, it's all great but there's an issue with close focusing. The RF patch doesn't focus closer than around 0.8m. Have seen this with M3s obviously, but my understanding as that all M4s came out of the factory capable of 0.7 focussing. It's not the lens - we've tried both on each camera... my wife's M4 focusses normally with both, but mine will only focus to 0.8.

Any ideas? Easy fix? CLA is not really something I want to do right now.

Thanks,

David
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Old 11-16-2016   #2
Fraser
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My m4p doesn't make it all the way to the end of the focus throw with my 50mm Summicron maybe your wifes M4 has been adjusted at some point for close focus I know it can be done, if it focuses to .8 I wouldn't worry too much, my M2 does and Its never really bothered me. You could always get yourself a pre asph Summilux and you would never notice
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Old 11-16-2016   #3
Sid836
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I think that for all M Leicas the min focusing distance is 0.7m. I is most likely that your M4 is o.k.
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Old 11-16-2016   #4
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Can't tell what to do other than CLA, but I can tell that my M4 focuses all the way to 0.7m with my 50mm Summicron.
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Old 11-16-2016   #5
jonmanjiro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveywaugh View Post
Easy fix?
I suspect its an easy fix if you're game.

On an M3, you just need to bend the arm (indicated by red arrow below) backward a bit so the cam follower can move forward a bit more. I'm guessing an M4 would be the same.

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Old 11-16-2016   #6
Sid836
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First check to see if the for the rest of the focusing scale everything is correct. Then try this:
1. Put a mark on a mirror.
2. Place the camera exactly 1m from that mark and focus on that mark. The distance scale on the lens should read 1m.
3. Focus on the camera. The distance scale on the lens should read 2m.
In that case you should not touch anything.

Also, I would not dare bending anything on my Leica.
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Old 11-16-2016   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikos72 View Post
Also, I would not dare bending anything on my Leica.
It's definitely not for the fainthearted

I'd only try bending the arm if everything else (infinity alignment, focus at 1m etc.) checks out.

A bit more on the subject at the link below:

http://www.35mmc.com/05/01/2015/adju...loser-1-metre/
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Old 11-16-2016   #8
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Thanks for the info everyone.

@jonmanjiro I've done the adjustment you mention on an M3 before and it worked fine (I think I followed your advice a while back so thank you). I just don't feel comfortable doing it on an M4 because it *should* be able to focus to 0.7 normally.

@Nikos72 I've tested focussing against the other M4 and it seems OK beyond 0.8.

@Fraser That's good advice but I love my Biogon-C and actually do use 0.7 quite a bit... but yeah, is 10cm so bad?

Anyway, thanks everyone. The M4 is flawless otherwise and even has an L seal (which also may explain why it's a bit off). Seller is really good and has offered a return. Think I'll just do that and try again.
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Old 11-16-2016   #9
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something must block the arm from going out all the way. it might be that the whole arm is bend upwards but I don't think that is the case. Most likely the stopper for the little arm that controls the close focus stop is mis adjusted .. it's eccentric and probably on it's "thickest" side towards where the little arm hits it (I mean the one marked by Jon).
if I'm right - readjust - nothing to damage there. Jon's solution should also work perfectly fine and might be much easier.
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Old 11-16-2016   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k__43 View Post
something must block the arm from going out all the way. it might be that the whole arm is bend upwards but I don't think that is the case. Most likely the stopper for the little arm that controls the close focus stop is mis adjusted .. it's eccentric and probably on it's "thickest" side.
Thank you. You're right - I've just had a close inspection of both cameras and where the arm rests on mine is a little different. There's more space between the arm and the stopper... I'll post a pic after work.

Thanks for your help - would be great to fix this myself.
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Old 11-16-2016   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveywaugh View Post
I just don't feel comfortable doing it on an M4 because it *should* be able to focus to 0.7 normally.
That's totally understandable.

FWIW a few years ago, I had the same problem with an MP 0.85. It would only couple down to about 0.78 -0.80m with any of my lenses. Not wanting to try the repair myself and risk damaging an otherwise perfect condition camera, I took the camera to Leica Tokyo who fixed it in a few minutes for me. But why would an MP even have that problem? Just slipped through the QC checks at the factory I guess...
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Old 11-17-2016   #12
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Thanks everyone for your help with this. I notice the stop arm appears further away from the overtravel adjustment screw than the good M4 (and also an M2 I have here). Also it appears that someone has perhaps done a poor job of adjustment as the overtravel screw seems a little threaded or at least roughly screwed :-)

So do I adjust the screw itself or does the arm need to be bent towards the overtravel screw? If I try and bend it, how would you do it? Bend from the end of the arm with a screwdriver?

Sorry for all the questions - it's just important I don't stuff it. Best quote I've had from a Tech here is A$280 and a 6 week turnaround :-( Thanks heaps. Really appreciated.
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Old 11-17-2016   #13
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Just another thing... my serial is 1189 xxxx which I guess makes it a pretty early model. I see a lot of posts with people mentioning "early M4 problems" without actually stipulating what those are. Could I have one of the dreaded early M4s? :-)
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Old 11-17-2016   #14
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that screw looks like someone used the wrong tool for it.
does the small arm actually hit the stopper at all? it looks a bit like there is a gap between them.

as for the bending job .. just pull the roller arm carefully out of the camera until you got a bit more travel.
Don't try to push the smaller arm with a screw driver .. if you slip you might rip your shutter curtains.
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Old 11-17-2016   #15
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@k_43 Thanks very much. So I just use my finger and try and push it towards the screw? Yeah, it does look a bit messy and there's definitely more of a gap than the other M4 and M2.
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Old 11-18-2016   #16
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How did you go?

If it was me, I think I'd leave the mangled screw head alone and just try to bend the metal bar a little with a finger in the direction shown below. Hopefully that would get you just enough extra movement to get coupling down to 0.70m.
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Old 11-20-2016   #17
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Thanks heaps @jonmanjiro. I tried but couldn't bend it enough. It's going off for a CLA today. Really appreciate all your help - good to know at least what the problem is.
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Old 11-20-2016   #18
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Hey man, just take a narrow screwdriver and push the arm backwards as described above. It needs a firm push and then its done, not a biggie at all. I did it myself on 2 of my Leicas. Good luck, and hope you didnt send it for CLA for this reason alone.
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Old 11-20-2016   #19
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Thanks Dave. I've sent it in anyway as I think there may be something else wrong. The cam just feels really different to my wife's M4 so I figure I may just bite the bullet... Thanks heaps though.
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